DIY Photo Ledge Tutorial

Last week, I shared my finished and styled photo ledge Eddie and I made for our bedroom. Now I’m back to talk about how I made it so you can make your own!

DIY Photo Ledge Tutorial

We loved these ledges from ikea for their flexibility in changing out frames and decor, but wanted something longer (the longest ikea ones are 45″, and we wanted at least 60″). Here’s what you’ll need to make your own: Supplies:

  • Lumber: 1×2, 1×3, and 1×4 in the length of your final shelf
  • Primer (
  • Paint ( is plenty, I used un-tinted white in semi-gloss)
  • Screws (I used (6) 1.5″ #6 screws for assembly and (3) 2″ #6 screws for attaching to the wall)
  • Wood putty

Tools:

  • Electric drill
  • Paint roller & tray
  • Putty spatula (like this)

Our home depot was actually out of 1x2s and 1x3s, so we actually got a 1×4 and a 1×6 and cut the 1×6 down to a 1×2, 1×3, and some leftover with our table saw. Once you’ve got the lumber, start by priming and then painting each piece. Then clamp them together, pre-drill, and screw to assemble. You can see how the pieces go together below:

Photo Ledge Tutorial

My center board was noticeably warped, so we did lots of clamping. Note that you don’t need to clamp the whole piece at once (I only have 4 clamps!). we started at one end, lined up the ends of the boards, and clamped about 6″ on either side of my screw (less on the ends, since you want to anchor the ends securely close to the edges) then pre-drilled, put in the screw, and moved the clamps.

Photo Ledge Tutorial

We screwed the back (1×3) on first, and didn’t worry about covering those screws since they’ll be against the wall. When we attached the front, we made sure to sink the screws in past the face of the wood so we’d be able to cover them up.

Photo Ledge Tutorial

Once everything was assembled, I sanded the wood around the screws on the front since there was a bit of tiny splintering. I then filled the holes with putty. After that dried (read your putty instructions, mine said two hours for deeper holes so that’s how long I waited), I sanded the putty even with the wood finish and painted over it.

Photo Ledge Tutorial

Voila – seamless photo ledge! To attach it to the wall, we first found the studs and marked them vertically with painters tape. Then we lined up the shelf where we wanted it – cenetered over the headboard and at a height we liked. We attached the shelf to a stud on one end with the drill at an angle so the screw is below the front lip of the shelf – this makes the screw invisible from the front. We then used a level to make sure it was nice and flat, and attached the shelf to two more studs in the same manner.

Photo Ledge Tutorial

Here’s the whole thing with all the decorations I have up there for now:

DIY Giant Ikea Photo Ledge

And here’s where you can find tutorials to the projects in that image that I’ve made myself and shared on the blog:

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  3. Thanks for the tutorial on how to build the photo ledge. I love how you have incorporated your projects into your decor.

  4. We just wanted to let you know that your craftgawker submission from today would be perfect for dwellinggawker as well. We can publish your submissions on both sites as long as the content is relevant for both. Thank you for submitting!

    Maria at gawkerverse

  5. Love it! It has such a great, professional appearance. My man would love this project – I’ll have to share it with him.

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  7. I had those photo ledges from Ikea and they were not always long enough. Their finish also looked a bit chintzy close up. I like this much better.

    • Marsha,

      Thanks! I’m out of town right now, and can’t remember what color it is off the top of my head. I’ll try to remember to look it up when I get home and let you know, though!

      Julia

  8. Awesome! I’ve seen a similar project at AnaWhite called 10 dollar ledges. I want to make these.. the store bought ones are sooo expensive. Great instructions, very clear! Do you know what your final cost was?
    Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    • Brianna,

      All I bought was the wood (less than $10) and small (pint, I think) containers of white semi-gloss paint and primer. I’ve still got most of the paint left, too! I’m on travel right now, but I’ll look up what I spent all together when I get home and let you know!

      Julia

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